September 8, 2012

A Bedtime Rhyme

Last night, Zoe asked me to write her a story. When I asked what about she said, "Write about what scares kids."

I couldn't have asked for a better writing prompt.

I'm sharing the resulting rhyme here because it makes me giggle.

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Why Zoe Cannot Go To Bed

“Mom, I cannot go to bed,” 
My Zoe said to me.
Her eyes were red, and then she said, 
“For if I do…I will be dead.”

“But why,” said I.  “Why do you cry?
What scares you so, my girl?
Your bed is high, your sheets are dry.
And so I ask you: why?”

She perched atop her rocking chair
And gazed around her room.
“All I will bare, that’s if you dare.
My room! It is a witch’s lair!”

“She lives right there, behind the door,
Her cauldron’s back there, too.
And wait! There’s more! At night! The floor!
It glows! And oh! I hear the roar…”

“Of the lion! He’s the witch’s pet!
She keeps him in a cage.
I swear! I met him on a bet 
To see if she would let me get…”

“Up to my bed the other night.
She stood in my way and said,
‘Well, I just might without a fight
If only Leo you will bite…’”

“Bite the lion?” said I.  “Now why is that?”
She shrugged, her eyes grew large.
“Because he’s fat, and wears a hat
And for dinner he might eat our cat.”

“But she likes our cat,” my Zoe said,
“She wants him to survive.
And so she led me to his bed
And then she pulled me towards his head.”

“And Mom!  His teeth!  So big and white!
He opened up his mouth.
His tongue took flight! He licked me right
Across my nose with all his might.”

“I tumbled way back to the wall!
The witch!  She laughed and laughed.
She had a ball! She watched me fall!
She wants to hurt me, and that’s not all!”

“Not all?” said I.  “Do tell me, love,
What else is there to fear? 
A lion’s shove? A witch’s glove?
What’s next? You fear a baby dove?”

“Oh no,” she said.  “The doves are nice.
It’s the monster that makes me cry.
He’s cold as ice and he has lice
And for dinner he eats girls with rice!”

“Oh, come now. Please. That can’t be true.”
Said I, as she crawled to bed.
“If monsters do exist I’ll shoo
Them all out through the chimney flue.”

“The witch I’ll knock out with my bat
And throw her out the door
And when that’s that, where the lion sat
I’ll set our dog upon a mat.”

“She’ll guard your room throughout the day
And keep watch over you.
And soon you’ll say, without delay, 
Our dog! She keeps them all at bay.”

My Zoe’s eyes grew heavy then,
The lids sank to her cheeks
They opened but when they closed again
I snuck out and went down to the den.
  
But as I left her sleeping there,
I heard a growly sound.
I don’t know from where, but I heard a bear
As Zoe dreamed without a care.

That night I sat awake in bed
And through the window I stared
For a bear’s big head, and with fear I said,
“If I go to sleep…I might be dead.”

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